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In Honor of Virunga National Park's

Fallen Rangers


January 10, 2021 - Six Virunga Rangers were killed in an ambush while on foot patrol near Kabuendo, the central section near Virunga's border. The rangers were taken by surprise and had no chance of defending themselves. Fortunately, a seventh ranger who was injured was taken to hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. All of the rangers leave behind grieving family, friends, and colleagues. Names of the fallen rangers:

Surumwe Burhani Abdou, aged 30 years
Alexis Kamate Mundunaenda, aged 25 years
Reagan Maneno Kataghalirwa, aged 27 years
Eric Kibanja Bashekere, aged 28 years
Innocent Paluku Budoyi, aged 28 years
Prince Nzabonimpa Ntamakiriro, aged 27 years

November 18, 2020 - AirWing Pilot Alphonse Musafiri Gasacyoca was killed in a plane crash shortly after take-off from the park's headquarters in Rumangabo. Alphonse had an extensive career in the aviation industry and was instrumental in training new pilots in the AirWing program. Alphonse leaves behind 2 children.

October 10, 2020 - Virunga Ranger Bagurubumwe Chuhoze Deogene was killed during an attack on an ICCN patrol post near the village of Sarambwe. Deogene had worked at the park since 1996. He leaves behind a wife and 3 children.


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April 24, 2020: Twelve Virunga Rangers and and one driver were killed in a violent ambush on their way back to their headquarters. All of those that lost their lives leave behind families, colleagues, parents, and greiving friends. Three other rangers are seriously injured and one remains in critical condition. The names of the fallen are listed:

Kadhafi Abedi Iyalu, Ranger, aged 23 years
Lumumba Anuari Bihira, Ranger, aged 27 years
Djamali Badi Mukandama, Ranger, aged 27 years
Junior Fazili Justin, Ranger, aged 29 years
Jean-Louis Kambale Mutsomani, Ranger, aged 31 years
Jules Kambale Teremuka, Ranger, aged 28 years
Joseph Kasole Janvier, Ranger, aged 30 years
Ruphin Masumbuko Malekani, Driver, aged 40 years
Augustin Mugisho Kulondwa, Ranger, aged 27 years
Jeannot Muhindo Isevihango; Ranger, aged 30 years
Jacques Muhindo Katembo, Ranger, aged 29 years
Héritier Ndagijimana Ndahobari, Ranger, aged 27 years
Moise Paluku Kalondero, Ranger, aged 30 years

In addition to the Virunga National Park Staff, four civilians also lost their lives.



April 2, 2019: Virunga Ranger Hakizimana Sinamenye Chadrack passed away following serious injuries he sustained during a wildlife-related accident in the Park's Central Sector. He was 38 years of age and is survived by his wife, Jemima, and their three children.

March 7, 2019: Virunga Ranger Freddy Mahamba Muliro was killed during an attack on his post in the Park's Central Sector. 

November 28, 2018: Virunga Ranger Kasereka Masumbuko Ezéchiel was killed during an attack by armed militia at a Ranger Post on Lake Edward in the Park's Central Sector. He is survived by his wife, Justine, and their seven children.

April 1 - May 11, 2018: When 25-year-old Virunga Park Ranger, Rachel Masika Baraka, was killed on May 11th, 2018, she became the eighth casualty that year in a war pitting brave rangers in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park against rebel militia groups.  Seven rangers and one staff driver, Ila Muranda, died in three separate attacks over the course of six weeks between April and May 2018.

Since the civil wars began in 1996, 220 Rangers have tragically lost their lives while defending the park. The Rangers are the only force protecting the park, the wildlife, and one-fourth of the earth's endangered mountain gorillas.  Without the rangers and Virunga's AirWing program (supported by LCA), the park and the animals would surely become the victims of poaching and habitat destruction.

LCA has taken the lead in providing critical support and equipment to Virunga since 2016, with the donation of a Cessna 206 aircraft to the AirWing fleet.  The AirWing program provides the Rangers with an "eye in the sky" and is critical for emergency support and medical evacuation. In this important capacity, the aircraft and equipment donated by LCA to the AirWing program have saved countless lives.

Right now, with your help, LCA will continue to strengthen Virunga's AirWing. The Bat Hawk has increased visibility from the cockpit, has a low operating cost, is extremely stable and easy to fly and will allow night flying to combat rebel militia and poachers.  

The lives of Virunga's Rangers, and the wildlife and the mountain gorillas they protect, hang in the balance.







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